VITOBA THE NECTAR 31 Nov 3, 2013 8:47:07 GMT 5.5
Post by jksivan on Nov 3, 2013 8:47:07 GMT 5.5
31. GURU'S GRACE
The name Purandaradasa is mostly a well known household name in many Hindu families. Is n't it ? He hailed from Karnataka. He has composed numerous divine songs. He himself was a great singer blessed with a rich voice.
Purandaradasa had many disciples and one of them was the famous Vijayadasa. Vijayadasa family members were Vittal devotees. No doubt therefore Vijayadasa was also a baktha of Panduranga.
Vijayadasa's family was very poor. He had 8 brothers and sisters. He had to take care of his siblings as well as the elderly parents. He did not earn much to live affluent because he was not educated. He eked out his living by doing menial services going to neighbours' houses and help them in their household chores. Without any hesitation, he used to do any work given by them. Whenever someone gave him food, he would bring it home and share with all his family members. Only after every one finished eating, Vijayadasa would consume whatever was left over and remaining to satisfy him.
In the village Vijayadasa lived, there was a big and rich landlord. His name was Ragav Rao. He had a pet daughter and the land lord tried hard to find a good match for her. He was very happy to find a suitable boy and so he arranged for his daughter's wedding to be celebrated in a grand manner.
You know in those days the marriages usually were celebrated for 7 to 8 days. Being a landlord, he planned to provide food for the whole village on all the days.
Vijayadasa larnt about the rich land lord's daughter wedding celebrations and asked his mother "Maaji , shall I go to the landlord's daughter's wedding? I shall get plenty of good food for all of us for seven days at least ". His mother gave him permission.
Vijayadasa went to the wedding hall. By the time he reached the dining hall the feast had started. He went and joined the others already seated, and occupied an empty seat in front of a leaf. He looked poor with shabby dress and was noticeable amidst the rich guests. Someone came and asked him "Who are you? Now the groom's family will be coming for food. You get up and wait."
Vijayadasa got up from his seat and was waiting in a corner. Another person noticed him and took to be a paid servant for working in the wedding hall. He came and ordered Vijaadasa, "Why are you standing here? Go and fetch water from the well. People need water to wash their hands after eating". Vijayadasa was very happy to do the job assigned to him.
He filled up one big metal water container with water. In the meantime 4 to 5 batches of feast finished. Finally he went inside and was disappointed. There was no food and the vessels have been cleared for washing.
He was very tired because of his hard work in filling the hue tank with water from the fill. Added to that, he was hungry also. In a corner, he spread his towel and lied down there. His bad luck continued !! Again someone came to him '' Hey, get up, dont lie down here. This is the place occupied by the Land lord family and the Master would usually come here to take rest. Go elsewhere out of sight''.
Vijayadasa was very upset and naturally depressed. He appealed helplessly to Vittal! ''Hey Vittal did you see my misfortune and bad luck. I thought I could eat and take home for others, some food for at least for 7 to 8 days. Thousands of people have been fed here but I could not get even a morsel of food till now. I admit that this is nothing but my karma. I would be able to change my karma only if I go to Kasi". I have no face to meet my family members and ashamed of myself. I shall proceed from here to Kasi''
Vijayadasa once decided, began executing it. He started walking towards Kasi (Benares) from Karnataka. It involved a long journey of many days and nights because of the long distance between the two places particularly in those days when there were no proper roads or transport facilities.
During the day time, he would cover the maximum distance he could walk. He would look for some food when he felt very hungry and eat if someone gave food. Otherwise, he would drink water somewhere on the way and satisfy his hunger. At nights he used rest in the open space in front of some village houses, or under a tree. But he learnt a very good lesson from this long pilgrimage. He was able to take any praise or insult or scolding equally. He understood the world and the people living in it. He banked only on his faith on Vittal. Finally he reached Kasi and was very happy that his desire had been fulfilled. He took a dip in the river Ganges. He felt peace at heart. He sat under a tree and slept.
One night he had a dream. There was a bright light and fragrance everywhere. Vittal nama was ringing in his ears. He felt someone was standing near him. He saw Purandaradasar with his Tambur (a musical instrument) standing close and looking at him benevolently. The swamiji said ''Vijayadasa, open your mouth and show the tongue". Vijayadasa was dumbfounded and did as he was told by the Poojya Swamiji. He felt that Swamiji had written the name "Vittal" on Vijayadasa's tongue.
It may be noted that when Vijayadasa was dreaming, Purandaradasa was not alive. He never saw him but only heard of him from his ancestors.Purandaradasa attained Moksha 80 to 90 years before that. There was a sudden transformation in Vijayadasa after this dream.Now his approach to everyone differed.
In Vijayadasa's subsequent dreams, Vittal , Purandaradasa and even Sage Narada too appeared. Vijayadasa felt electrified and opened his eyes. He observed that he was able to sing spontaneously composing divine music on Lord Vittal. His very first song of course was the Kannada song on his Guru Purandaradasa.
Those who heard his songs were so impressed by the divinity. Many who heard him singing devotional songs on Vittal invited him to have biksha at their houses and asked him to perform bhajans. They gave him a lot of money. Initially he refused but took the money upon their insistence. With the money, he decided to build a Mutt in the name of his Guru Purandaradasa and installed a Vittal statue there.
His mission to serve humanity now commenced. He started his return journey from Kasi to Karnataka carrying a Vijaya Vittal statue in a palanquin. A large number of devotees joined him in this Dhakshina Yathra.
Look at the strange happening of events. How much had he suffered on his way to Kasi from Karnataka ! . Look at the welcome he was getting on his return journey. He donated a lot of clothes and food to poor people. All due to Vittal's grace. What else?
Finally Vijayadasa reached his village. People welcomed him very happily with a lot of respect. No one could recognize him. They imagined him to be a Mahan from somewhere and accorded due respect. Vijayadasa's father was one of the bakthas waiting for the mahan to visit their village. His father therefore came out of the house and saw the big procession and asked the people "Who is this Mahan?".
They replied "Oh! we do not know. He is a Mahan, that is all we know. We would have to welcome him and get his blessings in our village on his way "
Vijayadasar's father also followed them. He saw the Mahan and went near to prostrate, Vijayadasa was able to recognise his father. He rushed to him instead and fell at his feet, Others also followed him and prostrated before Vijayadasa. Vijayadasar addressed all of them
"Dear devotees! I am going to stay here forever". The devotees were very happy. They built an Ashram and installed the statue of Vijaya Vittal there There was enough space for many to sit and participate daily to perform with the Guru Maharaj Vijayadasanamasa his divine nama sankeerthan.
Dear children you would not have failed to observe how Vittal protects his devotees. Faith is what that counts in life. Let us now leave Vijayadasa undisturbed to continue his worship and move to the next story.